Kilkenny Poetry Phone Christmas Selection

16 mins read

Kilkenny County Council Arts Office Poetry Phone has a new selection of poems featured for the Christmas season,  selected by writer Elaine Feeney from the Arts Office.

Elaine Feeney lectures at The National University of Ireland, Galway, where she is also a founding member of the Tuam Oral History Project. She has published three poetry collections including The Radio was Gospel & Rise. Feeney wrote the award-winning drama WRoNGHEADED commissioned by the Liz Roche Company. Her novel As You Were won the 2021 Dalkey Book Festival’s Emerging Writer Prize, The Kate O’ Brien Prize and The Society of Authors’ McKitterick Prize. It was nominated for Irish Novel of the Year, shortlisted for the Rathbones-Folio Prize and featured in many Best of 2020 lists, including The Telegraph, Sunday Times, Evening Standard, Telegraph, Guardian & Observer. Feeney was chosen by the Observer as a top debut novelist for 2020.

Elaine said of being invited to make her selection:

When I was asked to curate the Poetry Phone Line for Kilkenny County Council, I didn’t consider the effect reading dozens of poems would have on me. It was entrancing to be emersed back into the realm of poetry. Sometimes I forget what draws me to poetry – the power of language, a poet’s startling snapshot of the ordinary, the solidarity we can discover through shared experience. The world seems busy and frantic right now, and everything somehow misshapen. No one appears to have enough time to get wherever it is they’re rushing too and I’m often struck by how terribly fast everything passes. Poetry makes me slow down, to consider, and in turn hopefully be more considerate. And while, it is inescapable that these are extraordinary times, the airwaves often filled with panic and warning, the world no longer as familiar as it once was, poetry offers respite. Through all this turmoil, creativity has continued and we have witnessed the human spirit to try withstand adversity. Soon, no doubt, we will begin to process our changed world, our losses. Struck by the talent and depth of the Broadsheet poems, choosing a curated list was not easy. Unlike my own poetic work, and not always the role of poetry, I decided that in the current climate, to curate a dozen poems that have loved and lost. Some of the poems have found joy, but mostly I hope this curation, serves as a mediative lament of the beauty in what has passed, the fragility of life. We endure best together, through meaningful human connection, and through these shared experiences, in a world where sometimes the systems seem to be failing us, I feel these poems offer hope.

The poems are beautifully recited by Kilkenny actors Susie Lamb and Ger Cody.



Le Temps des cerises (for Marie) by Patrick Doyle

Patrick Doyle was raised on a farm in North Kilkenny. His work has appeared in numerous literary magazines, including The Galway Review, Skylight 47, Revival Magazine and Kilkenny Poetry Broadsheet. He was twice winner of the ‘From the Well’ Short Story Competition and  runner-up in both the Leslie Boland Poetry Award and the Shahidah Janjua Poetry Award. He has performed at festivals all over Ireland, including the West Cork Literary Festival, Kilkenny Arts Festival, Kinsale Arts Festival and Cork International Short Story Festival. He has collaborated with dancers, film makers, rappers and musicians, and his play, The Cauldron of Poesy, enjoyed a ten show run in Cork in 2019. He lives in Kinsale and is working towards a first collection.



Sink by Janis Woodgate

Janis Woodgate began writing as a teenager where she found personal expression through reading song lyrics off album sleeves. This led to an interest in the written verse and melody and WB Yeats became a teenage crush! Now, things have moved on and she is inspired by more contemporary and female writers. Janis avails of writing workshops and appreciates being introduced to new writing and learning from all genres. Janis continues to discover and develop her own writing voice.


Necessary Prayers by Sharon Verrall

Sharon Verrall is an artist and writer living and working in Kilkenny, Ireland.  She studied Fine Art at Crawford College of Art & Design Cork and was awarded a BA in painting in 2000.  That year she won the National Iontas Student Award, and her work went on tour nationwide including Sligo Art Gallery and Ormeau Baths Gallery Belfast.  Her poetry has been published in various publications including The Kilkenny Broadsheet, Stony Thursday Book, Shamrock Haiku Journal and the British Haiku Journal Presence, and she was shortlisted for the Bradshaw Books Poetry Manuscript Competition.  She has been a member of various writing groups and workshops.

The Day Before Christmas by Mary Malin

Mary Malin was born in Dublin and has been writing poetry since she was a child. She worked in Publishing in the UK for twenty years and now lives in Kilkenny.  Her work has been published in different editions of the Kilkenny Broadsheet. Mary has been fortunate enough to attend poetry and creative-writing workshops with John McKenna, Kimberly Campanello, Jessica Traynor and Tara Heavney, organised by the wonderful Arts Office of Kilkenny County Council and Open Circle. She is working on a short collection of poems and photographs inspired by Kilkenny woodlands.

Scéal amháin an Chéid By Carmel Cummins

Carmel Cummins  lives in Inistioge. She writes non-fiction and poetry in Irish and English  Her poems in English has been published in  national magazines,  in The Kilkenny Anthology,(1991)  Inkbottle, New Writing from Kilkenny,(2001)and in a chapbook, Woodstock Promenade, (2009), also in Science meets Poetry 3, eds Jean Patrick Connerade and Iggy McGovern (2012), and and The Stony Thursday Book(2013) (ed.  Paddy Bushe).  She was awarded first prize in the Black Diamond Poetry Prize in 2010 and was shortlisted for the Listowel Poetry Collection Award in 2013.  Other publications include, for prose, Townlands, a habitation, (2012,) Meitheal na bPáirceanna, (2016) both edited by Alan Counihan, and a script for a short film Naming Ground (2017).  For the past seven years she has written mostly in Irish and her work has been published in the Irish language magazine Feasta (2014-2021) and the Kilkenny Broadsheet.  She has a particular  interest in how local environment  influences artistic expression.  This interest has been expressed in her work based on Woodstock Gardens, the Kilkenny Fieldnames Recording Project and it  influences her poetry in Irish which draws on  the rich Irish language heritage of country Kilkenny.

Tá Carmel Cummins ag scríobh filíochta le seacht mbliana anuas.  Tá cónaí uirthi in Inis Tíog, Cill Chainnigh. Taobh leis a cuid dánta, tá prós (neamhfhicsean) i mBéarla agus i nGaeilge scríofa aici freisin, mar shampla i  Townlands, a habitation, (2012), i Meitheal na bPáirceanna (2016) agus script ghearrscannáin le Alan Counihan, Naming Ground (2017).

Caulking By Gerry Moran

Gerry Moran, former Principal of St. Patrick’s De La Salle Primary School, is a columnist with the Kilkenny People; his work has featured in various newspapers, magazines, poetry publications and on RTE’s Sunday Miscellany. He presented the Arts Show on the original KCR (Kilkenny Community Radio) and is the author of a local history book: ‘Kilkenny City & County.’ Gerry is a past winner of the Toastmasters International Humorous Speech Competition.

Mother By Joan Cleere

Joan is a native of Thomastown but has been living in Bennettsbridge for over fifty years since her marriage to Seamie. She has been a member of the Bennettsbridge Writers Group since the beginning and has had work included in their three publications, “Daughters of the Wind”, “Tangerine Skies” and “Meet me Halfway”, the latter being a joint publication with the Derry Writers.  Joan is local correspondent for the Kilkenny People Newspaper for 37 years and her writing consists mainly of prose but she has had some poems published.

Cocoon By KS Moore

K.S. Moore is a Welsh poet, based in Ireland. Her poetry has recently appeared in The Honest Ulsterman, The Dawntreader, The Seventh Quarry, Drawn to the Light, and in the Broken Sleep anthology, ‘Crossing Lines’. Work has also featured in The Stony Thursday Book, New Welsh Review, The Stinging Fly and Southword. Commended in this year’s Single Poem Contest at Cheltenham Poetry Festival, K. S. Moore placed third in The Waterford Poetry Prize (2020) and is a Pushcart Prize nominee.  Shortlists have included The Allingham Prize, Ink, Sweat and Tears Pick of the Month and Trim Poetry Competition.

Void By Robert McLoughlin

Robert McLoughlin was born in the last century and is aging well. He has lived with his wife Madeleine in Callan for the last fifteen years. He has had careers in Quality Management, Massage Therapy, the Intellectual Disability Sector, and as a Tour Guide at Kilkenny Castle and the Smithwick’s Experience. He started writing a personal journal in his twenties, extensive letter writing in his thirties, short stories and poetry in his forties. He is currently editing the final draft of a memoir which he will publish by the end of this year. He also has a novel in his desk draw which he hopes to revive in 2022. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Humanities with a focus in literature and writing from Hiram College in the States. He also has a Certificate in Creative Writing from Maynooth University. He has self-published two books–one with 100 of his poems, and one with 26 of his selected short stories.

Lore By Breda Barrett

Breda Barrett is living in rural north Kilkenny. Reading and writing poetry has always been important to me as a way of exploring my environment.I strive to draw a picture with words to express our connection with nature and our interaction and place within it. Over the past few years I have attended poetry and creative-writing workshops organised by Kilkenny County Council.I have been previously shortlisted for the Broadsheet. I have found that the pandemic has given me time and opportunity to focus on writing.

Prohibition By Nuala Roche

Nuala Roche has been writing for over twenty years. In 2016, she won Dromineer Literature Festival Poetry Prize and was Highly Commended in the Patrick Kavanagh Competition. Her one-woman play, Bridie, premiered at The Watergate Theatre in 2017. Nuala’s writing is published in The Cormorant Anthology, Doghouse Press journal,  The Milk House, and nine editions of the Kilkenny Poetry Broadsheet. Her first short story was longlisted in the Cairde Festival 2021 competition. Nuala is currently pitching her debut novel, a near-future story set in Ireland. Her poem Lumber has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize by The Milk House. The poem can be found here.

Song of a Farmer By Angela Keogh

Angela Keogh is a Kilkenny born writer living in county Carlow. Several of her poems were selected for the Kilkenny Broadsheet publications. Her first novel The Winter Dress, a work of fiction set in medieval Ireland, was selected for the Irish Writers’ Centre Novel Fair 2020 and published the same year by The Harvest Press. Angela was a prize winner of the Waterford Poetry Prize 2018 and her poem An Irish Poem was published in the recent anthology Much More Than Words.

Latest from Blog